The Hayden Tigers girls' offense was slow in the second quarter, resulting in six points, but the Grand Valley Cardinals were even slower with four points.
The Tigers led 14-12 at halftime, when Cardinals coach Mike Johnson sat down his team in the locker room for a talk.
"We're coming off a big win in Rangely last night," Johnson said. "And tonight I thought we came out flat. We had some issues on the drive up -- girls drinking pop and eating crap food, and then not stretching before warm-ups, and I kind of let them have it. Maybe they just weren't mentally prepared."
Johnson's words had an impact on the Cardinals, and they came out of the locker room and scored more points in the first 30 seconds of the half than they did the second quarter. They then ran a full-court press, trapping Hayden players and forcing them to turn the ball over several times.
The three-two trap was more than the Tigers could handle. Grand Valley won the game 43-34, bringing Hayden's season record to 2-8 overall and 1-3 in Western Slope League play.
The Tigers tried unsuccessfully to pass out of the trap and missed a few easy shots. They soon began to foul and force shots.
"I think for my girls it's the pressure," Hayden coach Jayme Adams said. "You turn the ball over so much and you get frustrated. They start making fouls and turnovers, and they just didn't handle the pressure.
"It was them feeling worried, anxious and frustrated -- all those emotions at once."
The Cardinals outscored the Tigers, 19-12, in the third quarter and 12-8 in the fourth quarter, despite gallant efforts by Jamie Waugh, who scored nine points and pulled down 14 rebounds, and Whitney Bell, who scored a game-high 12 points.
At most, the Cardinals built a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Adams said that despite a loss to Grand Valley in the Meeker Tournament earlier this year, she thought her team played better in the teams' first encounter.
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